When the popularity of the internet took off, internet gambling wasn’t far behind. Internet gambling websites were born in the mid 1990s when Antigua and Barbuda passed a law called the Free Trade and Processing Act. This piece of legislation meant that the small Caribbean nation could grant licenses to those keen to be pioneers in the world of online gambling.
Two companies, Micrograming and Cryptologic, having developed the gambling software with the means to guarantee safe and secure online transactions, joined together to bring the world its first online casino in 1994. As you can imagine, the first online gambling sites didn’t look much like the web-based online casinos on offer today, but considering the technology was in its infancy they were fairly sophisticated.
1996 saw the Kahnawake Gaming Commission come into being. Believe it or not, this was a Canadian Mohawk Indian tribal commission that was established to grant gaming licenses and make sure the organisations involved in online gambling were kept in check.
From 1996 onwards, the industry’s popularity exploded and the number of online casinos available sky-rocketed, from only 15 websites in 1996 to an incredible 200 in 1997. 1998 saw the revenue from the industry hit $830 million. Online casinos were followed by the introduction of online sport books from 1996 onwards and online poker rooms weren’t far behind, first appearing in 1998.
Online casinos started out offering virtual casino gaming, using graphics, but one of the biggest developments in online gambling since it was born has been the introduction of live-dealer casino gaming, which lets players watch live video streams of dealers and croupiers in real time, adding an extra layer of excitement to the experience. These days this is fairly common place and all the best online casinos offer their players the option to play with a live-dealer.
Online casino gaming has always kept up with the latest technology, and many companies were quick to release downloadable online casinos, in the form of apps for smart phones and tablets. Mobile gaming apps are now hugely popular, as people now have the freedom to play online casino games wherever they are rather than being tied to their computers. The spread of apps has made live betting, a trend which started in 2002 and has been growing ever since, when players can bet on a sporting event whilst it’s in progress, even more popular, as players can place their bets quickly and easily whether they’re watching in a stadium or with friends, and aren’t tied to a computer or betting shop.
With online casino gaming growing so quickly since 1994, there’s little doubt that there will be more progress in the years to come.